University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Oni Buchanan and Jon Woodward perform “Uncanny Valley”
Oni Buchanan’s concert programming is often interdisciplinary in nature, directly engaging the intimate connections between the arts, and frequently including adventurous contemporary works alongside established repertoire, bringing works from disparate centuries into fascinating and enlightening conversation. In addition to solo programming, she has co-curated (with poet Jon Woodward) several large-scale, interdisciplinary performance projects. Their first project, "Machines," featured the machines and films of kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson exhibited alongside live performances of incredible contemporary musical works. They then produced "Four Quartets: Variations," moored by the performances of four vocalizing actors and four poets interacting with excerpted and remixed text of T. S. Eliot.
Most recently, they commissioned a concert-length work for piano/spoken text/electronics from renowned electroacoustic composer John Gibson, which will be premiered in September 2012 and performed on tour throughout the 2012/13 season. The piece, called "Uncanny Valley" (after Jon Woodward’s serial poem of the same name), explores the phenomenon of "semantic satiation," searching through repeated poetic lines and musical forms for what is most uncanny, and most human, in both language and music.
Oni Buchanan's third poetry book, Must a Violence, is forthcoming from the Kuhl House Poets Series in September 2012, selected by Mark Levine. Her previous books include Spring, a Poetry Honors winner of the 2009 Massachusetts Book Awards and selected by Mark Doty for the 2007 National Poetry Series, and What Animal, selected by Fanny Howe for the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series. Oni is also a concert pianist, has released three solo piano CDs, and actively performs across the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Boston with her husband, the poet Jon Woodward.
Jon Woodward's books are Uncanny Valley (forthcoming from Cleveland State University Poetry Center), Rain (Wave Books), and Mister Goodbye Easter Island (Alice James Books). He lives in Boston with his wife, poet and pianist Oni Buchanan, and he works at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.